It’s well known that recruiting and hiring the perfect COO for your company is no easy task. It takes hard work, research, planning, and lots of time. But once all of that is done, once you’ve interviewed, sent out an offer, and hired the perfect person for the job, then what?
“Chief Operating Officers can make a world of difference – if their onboarding sets them up for success. If you’re bringing a Chief Operating Officer (COO) in to work for you, be sure to align, acquire, accommodate, assimilate, and accelerate them well.” – Forbes
So, how do you onboard your COO?
Resist the Urge to Let Them do Their Job
For the first two to four weeks after hiring, it is essential to the onboarding process that you resist the urge to let the new COO do their job.
Sounds absurd, right? Don’t worry, there is a tried and true reason behind it.
So what is it?
They Need to Get Your Company First
If you were onboarding someone to be the COO for a restaurant or a bar, you’d want that person working behind the bar, waiting tables, working in the kitchen, working outside the door, etc before they do anything else. You don’t want anyone in the company to even know they are the COO for the first two weeks. Instead, you’ll have them doing and learning the hard work every single role in the company takes before anything else.
Your new COO will go through the training everyone else does and beyond. They’ll handle food prep, meet suppliers, and unload trucks. You want them to see and feel every aspect of the company before they start doing their COO job.
The answer is simple. Your COO needs to get your company before they can truly be a good COO. You want them immersed in the company culture as much as possible so that they know everything there is to know about your business.
Take 1-800-GOT-JUNK? for Example
At 1-800-GOT-JUNK? they had people riding around in trucks, going through franchise training, listening in on phone calls with customers, suppliers, or PR, and even standing on the street corner waving at traffic. It sounds like absurd onboarding for a COO, but it’s essential!
The new COO for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? did every single job they could think of for four weeks before they got to start their actual job as COO. That way, they were fully integrated into all aspects of the company before starting their job.
Once the immersion of a new COO is over, you get to enjoy phase two of the COO onboarding process – The Ripple Effect. That’ll be outlined in next week’s blog so make sure to check it out!
No matter the type of business, be it a high-end restaurant or a junk removal company, successful onboarding of a new COO requires you to resist the urge to let them do their job. Instead, teach them everyone else’s job first. They need to know the ins and outs of every aspect of the company if they’re going to be successful in their new role.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and someone from my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.